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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Treatment of landfill leachate by irrigation of willow coppice - Plant response and treatment efficiency

Aronsson Pär, Dahlin Torleif, Dimitriou Ioannis


Landfill leachates usually need to be treated before discharged, and using soil-plant systems for this has gained substantial interest in Sweden and in the UK. A three-year field study was conducted in central Sweden to quantify plant response, treatment efficiency and impact on groundwater quality of landfill leachate irrigation of short-rotation willow coppice (Salix). Two willow varieties were tested and four irrigation regimes in sixteen 400-m2 plots. The willow plants did not react negatively, despite very high annual loads of nitrogen (<2160 kg N/ha), chloride (<8600 kg Cl/ha) and other elements. Mean annual growth was 1.5, 9.8 and 12.6 tonnes DM/ha during years 1-3. For one of two willow varieties tested, relative leaf length accurately predicted growth rate. Irrigation resulted in elevated groundwater concentrations of all elements applied. Treatment efficiency varied considerably for different elements, but was adequate when moderate loads were applied

Published in

Environmental Pollution
2010, Volume: 158, number: 3, pages: 795-804
Publisher: Elsevier

    SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG6 Clean water and sanitation
      SDG3 Good health and well-being

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Fish and Aquacultural Science
      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
      Renewable Bioenergy Research

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